Browsing Tag

high school

All Entries Education Humor

The Scourge of Notre Dame

July 7, 2016

“I will not throw chalk at Nathan Pickler’s head. I will not throw chalk at Nathan Pickler’s head. I will not throw chalk at Nathan Pickler’s head.” And so on and so on.

After cutting up and looking for ways to continually push the envelope, you’d think that I would have learned my lesson by now: don’t get caught throwing chalk at the back of Nathan Pickler’s head. But I did, so there I was standing at a blackboard in a nearly deserted classroom two hours after all my friends had gone home. At Notre Dame High School, they called it detention. At other penal institutions, it’s known as incarceration, detainment or being sent up the river.

I found myself attending Notre Dame by once again blindly following in my brother’s footsteps. It wasn’t the first time. Nor would it be the last. As a misguided 9th grader, there was something alluring about attending a private, all-boy Catholic high school run by the Brothers of the Holy Cross – sort of like getting accepted for SEAL training when you’re 14 years old. Compared to other schools, Notre Dame was not only harder to get into, it was more difficult to stay out of trouble once you got there. But the Brothers did the best they could by introducing us to a life of spirituality, human compassion and frequent doses of corporal punishment. read more

All Entries Family Home Life Humor

Shake My Hand or I’ll Kiss You

June 18, 2016

Moments after I was born, Dr. Felsenbaum greeted me with a slap on my heinie. Naturally, I was too young to understand the significance of the gesture and took immediate offense to being manhandled straight out of the womb. As it turns out, it wouldn’t be the last time someone slapped me on my backside.

That whack on the bum was my first introduction to a long list of quaint American greeting traditions and was meant to get me started crying and breathing. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. I would have preferred a hearty handshake followed by a request to exhale. If he’d asked, I would have been happy to comply – especially if he offered me a cigarette. But, like it or not, that’s how my life began.

When I was in junior high school, we greeted all our friends with a unique variety of insults designed to generate attention – starting by pulling their underwear up to their shoulder blades. I remember being smacked on the back of my head so hard my retainer shot across the room. Slapping our girlfriends on the heinie was preferred over a hearty handshake and was considered a sign of affection. Everyone got away with it, but there’s no way I’d consider giving my supervisor a flat or a wedgie, today. read more

All Entries Entertainment and Show Business Humor Leisure and Sports The Great Outdoors

Golf Course Thugs

June 11, 2016

I love sports. And, considering there isn’t an athletic gene in my entire family, I manage to do pretty well at anything I decide to try – except golf.

Looking back, I’m not really sure why I took up golf in the first place. It’s the one sport that, the harder I tried, the worse I got. I was in high school at the time and started hanging around a tough bunch of thugs. Well, not really thugs as you know them. We weren’t covered with tattoos, didn’t wear smelly leather jackets, take drugs or hang around street corners fleecing old ladies of their social security checks. None of us had motorcycles, so there wasn’t any point in planning a bank robbery with a high speed getaway. But we did terrorize golfers at our local pitch and putt.

One of the first things that drew me to golf was all of the cool stuff you needed in order to play the game. There were the clubs, the golf club bags with all of the zippers and handles, the spiked shoes, tees, balls (that came in a nice cellophane-wrapped box), gloves, clothes and hats. Then, there were all of the accessories: rangefinders, golf ball retrievers, knitted golf club head covers, golf towels, umbrellas, watches, carts, stands and training accessories. I also liked golf because you could drink beer and smoke while playing the game – pretty tough to do with other sports like pole vaulting or running steeplechase. My parents were very supportive of my getting involved with golf. They thought it was great that I hung around the clubhouse and driving range everyday after school – at least until they discovered what I was really up to. read more

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